Think of it this way, whatever you take into your body falls somewhere on the spectrum between:

<Nourishment    and    Poison>

Nourishing foods and drinks help you to feel young, clear headed, alive, healthy, satiated

Poisonous foods and drinks leave you feeling weak, bloated, unsatisfied, upset, ill

If you are chasing around one bad feeling after another with foods, medications, drugs perhaps a cleanse would be a nice option to reboot your system and then start making more nourishing choices.

As I have spent the last decade informally learning about food and nutrition I have changed some of the items I used to have in the nourishing column way over into the poisonous column. I have also added many new foods and teas to my diet, and the nourishing effects have changed my health and transformed my life.

I have learned how to feel if a food is poisonous or nutritious for me by paying attention to how I feel after…. even if I can get a bellyache, headache, or foul mood to pass I believe there is still an accumulation of what we consume over our lives that builds up in our body. The potentially harshest effects won’t show up for years. On the contrary eating foods that allow me to feel light, clear headed, and alive I hope that these effects will continue to build up in my body so that as I grow through life and gain in knowledge I will have the health to sustain me.

Of course many factors can contribute to disease in the body, but isn’t that all the more reason to take responsibility for what you can by eating and drinking for your health? Not even because you’re supposed to but because it actually feels good?

I do find it difficult to always know what is nourishing and what is poisonous. Especially considering how much advertising there is for products that claim to be healthy and medicinal, which actually aren’t. Michael Pollen’s book, In Defense of Food, has helped me to redefine food and to make healthier choices. Learning how to cook with fresh, local ingredients has also showed me the life that can be transferred from plants, animals, minerals, earth, air, water, and fire into our bodies.

I am going to go start on some homemade veggie soup now.

Bon Appetit.


About Joyce Englander

I teach weekly yoga classes in New York City, which focus on moving mindfully and gracefully with the breath. I believe that learning yoga is similar to learning a language, and the more you are around it the more fluent you become. This blog is an opportunity to share my thoughts and re-visit lessons from class; to create a bridge for students to translate their classroom experience into real life. I am interested in how practicing yoga can help to improve people's lives and reduce needless suffering.
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